Lighting Modifiers and Their Effects

So many modifiers, so many effects. Learn all about lighting from a seasoned pro.

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a softbox and a snoot? Or whether to use an octabox or an umbrella? If so, this class is for you.

You’ll discover the crucial differences between a variety of lighting modifiers as Karl explains how they work, what effects they create, and when to use each one.

You’ll also cover the principles of hard and soft light and optimise your ability to control light.

In this class:

  • Lighting modifiers
  • Hard light and soft light
  • Direction of light and the impact it has
  • Size of a light source and its effect
  • How to further modify certain modifiers
  • Lens flare and how to reduce it

If you enjoy this class, to check out Precision Lighting: Modifiers and Techniques and Beauty Lighting Comparison.

Don’t forget to try our amazing Lighting Comparison Visualiser tool.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Hello Karl! First and foremost WOW your course is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I’m really enjoying these videos so THANK YOU FOR YOIR TIME IN DOING THESE.

    2nd) although I’m understanding very well each video and concept, I’m confused here a bit. I remember I few videos back to mentioned and turned of the modeling lamp to take a picture of stiffany and explained why, and used the flash only. But here, I’m confused because there is a flash going off for each example.

    Yes, the main light source is the modeling lamp but aren’t you also capturing the flashes since the are going off? So I’m confused.

    1. Hi and thank you for your feedback, much appreciated. The main light source is always the flash (not the modelling lamp) please watch these videos to understand the relationship between ambient light and the flash:

      To be honest you should watch all of the classes in order in this section especially the first one.

  2. Hi Karl,

    1)Can i learn your favourite softboxes or octaboxes for food photography ? (Karl’s top 5 please)
    2)Are softbox grids useful for food photography , what do you think about it ?
    3)You have a home made fiber optical cable, is there any different technique , what can you suggest instead of fiber optical cable ?

    thank you Karl

    1. Hi,
      1. Octabox 150 and a couple of honey comb grids for spotlighting certain areas would be my first choice, then and Octabox 75.
      2. Only if you need to reduce light spill in your studio, otherwise I don’t have a use for them, I can do most of what I need with black card instead.
      3. I don’t have any other options for this i’m afraid. Essentially all I’m doing is making very small spots of light so this could also be done with home made snoots, or very tight beam torches if they were daylight balanced.

  3. Hello Karl, I have a small space to work with so at the moment I need gear I can pack out of the way. I have watched you build your scrim with Lee 216 diffusion paper then I came across the Manfrotto skylite rapid midi kit (5×5) with 1.25 stops(not sure if you are familiar with this) This will be my first stab at using a scrim instead of just softbox, my question is do you know if the Manfrotto diffussion I listed is close to the Lee for spreading light? I know they are different manufacturers so any input would be much appreciated. Thank you and keep up the excellent visual training, just keep the same intro music its very soothing.

Leave a Comment